Saturday, December 16, 2023

WWF Armageddon 2000

The final WWF PPV of the year 2000... and it's headlined by a six-man Hell In A Cell match concocted by then-commissioner Mick Foley to bring pain to reigning and defending WWF Champion Kurt Angle, coupled with Vince's efforts to prevent the match from happening... even though he's the chairman and the owner, which means he could easily overrule Mick if he wanted to, but I guess that would make too much sense.

So this return to WWF 2000 hasn't been fantastic. No Mercy had its moments and Survivor Series only had one. My hopes aren't high for this one, but... okay, here we go.

The Radicalz (Malenko, Saturn, Guerrero) defeated The Hardy Boyz and Lita with Malenko submitted Lita in the Cloverleaf. This is Elimination Rules, which meant Lita was the last woman standing and she didn't last long to the surprise of no one. Although if this were booked today, she'd overcome the odds and win over the big guys like she's playing on easy mode, but I digress. The match was fine for what it was. Nothing more.

European Champion William Regal defeated Hardcore Holly to retain the title in a perfectly acceptable wrestling match. It's a step up, at least.

Val Venis defeated Chyna via distraction from Ivory, allowing Val to hit the fisherman suplex for the win. This was a thing that happened and really, that'll be the story for the rest of Chyna's WWF run, sadly. This is the point where Chyna starts to transition into a feud with Ivory over the Women's title that Joanie claimed she could win in two seconds... it'd obviously take her longer, but to be fair, it was at Wrestlemania and she needed to put on a show for the Astrodome crowd... whatever thoughts came of what I said are but your own and you've no one to blame but yourselves.

Vince McMahon comes out and pleads for our souls as he makes another attempt to get the main event cancelled... even though he's the chairman and could easily veto the match himself... I'm probably missing something because it's been a while since I've closely followed the shows, but is this around the time that they did the Linda McMahon comatose angle or something?

Chris Jericho defeated Kane in a Last Man Standing match that saw Jericho eventually dump a bunch of barrels on Kane, who was probably well protected in a way that none of the barrels actually touched him and all he had to do was fall down. The match itself wasn't either guy's best, but it was fun while it lasted and it at least gave Jericho a victory of sorts without killing off Kane's credibility. Don't worry; the latter has plenty of time to be killed off.

We get more hype for tonight's Hell In A Cell main event... even though we already bought the show. And to add to the inanity - is that even a word? - they're playing clips from past Hell In A Cell shows. Even back in 2000, I was like "Enough with the clips! I've seen this shit!" It's almost like they're padding the show to fill three hours... well, it's gotten worse in recent years, so I guess I should be thankful that the show is only three hours.

Edge & Christian defeated WWF Tag Champs Right To Censor (Goodfather and Bull Buchanan), The Dudley Boyz, and Road Dogg/K-Kwik in a four-corners tag match to win the titles... which deflated the crowd a bit because they wanted to see the Dudleyz win it... and they would, eventually... before losing 'em back to Edge & Christian. On the bright side, this ridiculous Right To Censor thing is on its last legs. Just a few more months and they're fucking dead. The match was your usual four-way with a billion people in it. Though I will mention that K-Kwik looked about as good back then as R-Truth does today. That man has some incredible genes, let me tell you.

Chris Benoit defeated Intercontinental Champion "The One" Billy Gunn to win the title. Pretty much a one-sided affair as Billy was basically a stepping stone for Benoit... that's far as I'm going to go here.

Women's Champion Ivory defeated Trish Stratus and Molly Holly to retain the title. This was a thing that happened very quickly. Test & Albert would attack Molly and Crash Holly, which would bring out the APA. The next night on RAW, Albert would turn on Test. Brilliant.

WWF Champion Kurt Angle defeated The Rock, Triple H, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, and Rikishi (one of these things is not like the others) in a six-man Hell In A Cell match to retain the title. The match was just a lot of brawling between six guys who all got some color (which, between the six of them, is about as much colored as you'd get from one Jon Moxley match with a broom) before Vince comes out and tries to rip the Cell apart with a truck full of hay, which opens the door and allows us to get our obligatory dropping from the top of the cage onto the floor. In this case, Rikishi takes the fall into the stack of hay... so he served his purpose there. Some would call this match a bit of a mess, but it was a spectacle and at the time, you needed to make Hell In A Cell a spectacle. So it delivered on that count.

Armageddon 2000 is the definition of a one-match show and the one match is definitely a case where your mileage may vary. Fortunately, I enjoyed the match back then and even today, I thought it was fun, so mission accomplished, I guess. The rest of the show is largely uneventful and skippable, which is a pretty sour note to end a largely great year for WWF.

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